Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight


With the Elite Eight set, new national championship odds have arrived for college basketball fans in March Madness.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few does not have time to soak in another trip to the Elite Eight with his top-seeded Bulldogs. With little time between games in Indianapolis, Gonzaga is a win over USC away from a return to the Final Four.

"I hope people realize just how hard it is," Few said after his team's weekend win over Creighton. "It's literally the hardest thing we do in our sport is advancing in this tournament. Heck, just look at what happened this year. It's just a great case in point here. So it's really, really hard. You've got to be really good, and you've got to be good on that particular night.

"Obviously, it takes a talented team and a good team, but it also takes a little luck and then just total, incredible focus by your guys to be your best on that particular afternoon or evening."

With the NCAA Tournament's first two weekends in the books and three top seeds left in the bracket, the pressure mounts this week prior to Saturday night's Final Four games.

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According to the latest national title odds via William Hill Sportsbook, here's a look at where the eight remaining teams stand, per oddsmakers:

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

The pre-tournament favorite Bulldogs remain unbeaten and appear to be the team to beat after their first three games — all double-digit wins with balanced scoring and precision from a veteran lineup. Gonzaga just smoked Creighton and led by 27 points at one point before cruising.

"Again, I'm just telling you, we're not hung up on the undefeated thing at all," Few said after the game. "We've got to go undefeated from here on out. We've got to go 3-0 if we want to win the championship, which is -- that's been our goal all along. But nobody's talking about the overall undefeated thing at all." 

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

It wasn't easy, but Baylor's impressive comeback win in the Sweet Sixteen over Villanova could be a momentum-building victory. Davion Mitchell said the Bears turned up the heat defensively and hopes it continues into the Elite Eight vs. Arkansas.

"We knew if we wanted to win we had to turn them over. We had to make them feel uncomfortable," Mitchell said. "They're a really fundamental team. They don't turn the ball over. They're number one in the country in not to turning the ball over. For us to win, we had to get them out of their comfort zone, and I think we did a really good job of that."

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

Michigan crashed the boards for 11 offensive rebounds leading to 17 second-chance points in the Wolverines' Sweet Sixteen win over Florida State. The Big Ten's last remaining team looks good heading into the next round as one of the tournament favorites.

"It was based on effort, energy, and toughness. Our guys came with a mindset," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. "We talked about it leading up to the game. We showed it on film. We also talked about it before the game, about we have to attack the offensive glass. We can't sit back on our heels and leave it untouched."

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton complimented the Wolverines following his team's Sweet Sixteen loss, saying Howard's game plan was essentially perfect to combat the Seminoles' best shot.

"This team executed so well," Hamilton said. "Their spacing was unbelievable. They were extremely patient. We had a hard time turning them over. They really, really played off of their big guy. We spent so much time trying to defend Hunter, and they get to their perimeter shooters, when the clock would run down to with about ten seconds left on the shot clock, they continue to keep staying in their system, and they executed and made plays right toward the end. That's what a good team will do."

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

Jim Boeheim said it best after Syracuse's hot-shooting in the NCAA Tournament cooled off considerably against Houston in the Sweet Sixteen. He simply said the Cougars wanted it more and the Orange couldn't handle Houston's level of physicality.  Kelvin Sampson's offense-rich group has taken a defense-first approach in March and it's paying off in a big way. Houston has won 10 straight since losing to Wichita State on Feb. 18.

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

Should the Trojans' odds to cut down the nets in Indianapolis be higher than +1600? Ask coach Andy Enfield, whose team is red-hot.

"We're top five in the nation in defense," Enfield said after beating Oregon, "but we're also top 15 in the nation in offense. So if you look at our metrics, we are a good offensive basketball team. Obviously when we make 3s, or even better. We've been shooting the ball well in this tournament, which is great to see. So, yeah, we're defense first. Our players understand that. That's how we've been able to have 25 wins this year. It's defense first. And offense, we have to move the ball and make open shots."

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

It's a special time to be a Razorbacks fan after the team's thrilling win over 15th-seeded Oral Roberts in the final seconds to catapult this squad into an Elite Eight showdown with Baylor. They're carrying the torch for the SEC the rest of the way following Alabama's overtime loss to UCLA on Sunday night.

"Really proud of our team, especially in the second half, with their effort," said Arkansas coach Eric Musselman. "We've been down now in three games and found a way to come back. Regrouped again at halftime, changed up our defense a little bit more, where we wanted to trap and lead certain players." 

Two 25-win teams now duke it out in Indianapolis for a spot in the Final Four and the Razorbacks, per Musselman, have a tremendous amount of respect for the Bears.

"Well, Baylor does such a great job — you mention the perimeter shooting, their bigs actually do an incredible job of rolling and kind of getting under the extra help defender," Musselman said. "So we've got to protect rim rolls, we've got to defend the three. But probably most important is we've got to have great ball security. We can't have any catastrophic turnovers, which means live-ball turnovers, because the live-ball turnovers get them out in transition and easy baskets.

"And so, I thought Villanova — for the most part — did a great job of controlling pace and not turning the ball over until that last eight-minute stretch. And once the turnovers started happening, the tide turned very, very quickly in Baylor's favor."

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

Mick Cronin and the Bruins are trying to become the first team since VCU more than a decade ago to reach the Final Four after appearing in the NCAA Tournament's first four round. The Bruins outlasted second-seeded Alabama in overtime on Sunday night after the Crimson Tide forced the extra session with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer as time expired. Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats, who won the regular season and league tournament title this season, said UCLA was one of the most physical teams his players had faced all season.

"His teams are always tough, well prepared, hard-nosed. They were that tonight," Oats said.

Updated national championship odds in Elite Eight

Per BeaverBlitz, Oregon State has five wins against Top 25 teams this season, its most in a single campaign since the 1975-76 team also won five. The Beavers’ last win against a Top 10 team came in Wayne Tinkle’s first season (Oregon State 58, No. 7 Arizona 56 on Jan. 11, 2015). In the three NCAA Tournament games, the Beavers are shooting 43.7% (69-for-158) from the field and limiting their opponent to 31.3% (57-for-182). One of the tournament's hottest squads, Oregon State is one of three remaining from the Pac-12 Conference, joining USC and UCLA.